Professor Johan Schot of the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges has been appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg and Chair of the Advisory Board to the DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development.

In recent years, Professor Schot has established strong relationships with South Africa through NRF (National Research Foundation) having become a member of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) he founded in 2016, and working with the Department of Science and Innovation as well as other South African Science, Technology and Innovation agencies. The TIPC thinking and Schot’s Deep Transition project provide the theoretical foundation for the Trilateral Research Chair. The Chair marks a partnership between the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), the University of Sussex (UK) and the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) (Kenya).

The research conducted under the Chair aims to develop new frameworks to explore transformative innovation in the context of 4IR, enhance capacity building of younger scholars to stimulate the next generation of African thinkers and engage research partners and policymakers as key stakeholders to influence policy change.

In his role as Visiting Professor, Johan Schot will immerse in capacity building and training sessions with the PhD students to be recruited by the Trilateral Chair, with five candidates registered in South Africa, two in Kenya and one in the UK.

Professor Erika Kraemer-Mbula of the University of Johannesburg said, ‘We are very excited to welcome Professor Schot as one of our Visiting Professors at the University of Johannesburg. His pioneering work in transformative innovation and deep transitions provide invaluable insights to our capacity building and research programme. We look forward to a very fruitful collaboration!’

Professor Schot commented, ‘I’m looking forward to deepening my collaboration with the University of Johannesburg and supporting South Africa’s aim to build up local capabilities in transformative thinking, transformative change and transformative policymaking. With the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium, we’ve been working with South African partners for a long time and this is the next step in our long-term engagement and with the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges, we have a strong new partner at our side.’

The programme was launched in mid-2019 and will be carried out over an initial period of five years, with the possibility for a five-year extension. The programme is funded by the British Council through the Newton Fund and the South African Department of Science and Innovation through the National Research Fund (NRF).

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